An Accomack County woman who worked as a school resource officer has announced her candidacy for the District 3 seat on the school board.
Jessica Lewis said in a prepared release that she is an advocate for the “safety of students, the voice of parents, and the encouragement of lifelong learning.”
Lewis is the mother of a rising junior at Arcadia High School, a rising sixth-grade student at Chincoteague Combined School, and an infant.
Lewis, her husband, Garrett, and their children live in New Church.
She served the community as a law-enforcement officer from 2010 to 2021, including four years as a school resource officer in Accomack County.
Lewis also served Accomack schools as the chair of the Accomack County Special Education Advisory Committee from 2020 to 2022.
“My primary focus is giving parents a true voice on the decisions being made that affect their children’s education,” she said.
Lewis said she wants the school system administration to take a “proactive approach to solving problems and overcoming challenges in order to avoid reactive decision-making.”
This includes ensuring administration is properly equipped to provide a safe environment for staff and students and reviewing the memorandum of understanding between the school system and the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office.
“In order for the school resource officer to effectively protect the school, open lines of communication must be consistently maintained,” she said.
“Another issue of paramount importance is giving teachers the support they need to teach our children to learn beyond taking standardized tests,” she said.
Lewis believes “we can and should help students develop and enrich their minds as well as provide opportunities to use problem-solving techniques and critical thinking.”
“This will help ensure public education in Accomack County is fostering productive members of society,” Lewis said.
Lewis said she will advocate for “harsher and more logical discipline actions” for those who continuously disrupt learning and infringe upon other students’ right to a free and appropriate education.
In addition to supporting current staff, Lewis wants to create effective retention plans that “make exceptional educators want to come to us and stay to teach our children.”
If elected, Lewis said she will work to insert “logic and practicality” into the dialogue and decision-making of Accomack County Public Schools.
She said she will continue her dedication to advocating for special education and mental health.
Lewis “will put the safety and education of your children first, and work to ensure your voices are a part of the governing of Accomack County Public Schools,” she said in a release.
The Eastern Shore Post will print at no cost candidate announcements for county or state elections. The announcements should be no more than 450 words, are subject to editing, and may include a head-and-shoulders photograph. Free announcements will not be accepted after Oct. 1. Email announcements to [email protected].